Supercommittee on verge of failure: Time for a new approach

From MarketWatch:

The U.S. congressional committee assigned to draft a plan for cutting $1.2 trillion from the nation’s deficit over 10 years is expected to announce Monday that it has failed, according to media reports Sunday.

Is anyone surprised? State Sen. Curtis Olafson (R—Edinburg, N.D.) has just shared these comments, which capture my sentiments precisely:

How much longer is the American public going to continue to blindly place their faith in Washington, DC, in the expectation that they will take action to solve this challenge? The Balanced Budget Amendment was voted down and will continue to be voted down, and the Super Committee is a failure. Do you think that perhaps the time has come for us to try something different?

Olafson is the national spokesman for the National Debt Relief Amendment, an initiative of, one which I have reported on and argued in favor of. On account of his prime sponsorship, it first passed in North Dakota, and then, while I was working in Louisiana, it passed there too. Easy to understand, it reads:

“An increase in the federal debt requires approval from a majority of the legislatures of the separate States.”

Yes, the time has more than come for a different approach: accountability led by the state legislatures and an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to constrain federal debt. The NDRA offers an historic fiscal solution, if we overcome convention fears.

Before an amendments convention can go ahead, 34 states must call for one—and that is yet to occur since original ratification. (There have been more than 34 resolutions, but on different amendments proposals.) As the map above indicates, though, many states are now in the process of making the NDRA a reality.

Fergus Hodgson

Director of fiscal policy studies at the John Locke Foundation, policy advisor with The Future of Freedom Foundation, and host of The Sta...

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